Issue details

22/00020 - Kent Holdco Ltd, Education Supplies

Proposed decision: 

Deputy Leader to approve a new trading construct for education supplies with all revenue, stock and contracts vesting with Kent Holdco (CES Holdings Ltd).


Reason for the decision:

Material change to the trading construct for education supplies managed by Kent County Trading (KCT) on behalf of Kent County Council (KCC). 



KCT struggles to compete with private sector operators that are not bound by the Public Contract Regulations 2015 (PCRs).


A simple trading construct can be implemented that allows a company owned by Kent Holdco to procure separately from KCC. This construct has been developed based on legal advice from relevant experts, with assurances of legal compliance.


This procurement flexibility will allow KCT to work directly with overseas manufacturers, cut out European distributors, and improve profit margins.


Options (other options considered but discarded):

Continue as currently.


How the proposed decision supports the Interim Strategic Plan:

The interim strategic plan includes the reset of Kent County Council’s Trading Companies. This is an important part of that reset.



Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: (All Division);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 25/02/2022

Anticipated restriction: Part exempt  - View reasons

Decision due: Not before 28th Mar 2022 by Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services
Reason: To allow for the 28 days publication on the Forward Plan

Lead director: David Cockburn

Department: Strategic & Corporate Services

Contact: Email:; 03000 419045.


The proposed decision will be considered by Policy and Resources Committee  on 24 March 2022.

Financial implications: KCT’s profits after tax are expected to improve by c.£250k in the 2022/23 financial year and c.£500k in each financial year thereafter as a result of the proposed change.

Legal implications: Legal advice received supports the approach with negligible risk.

Equalities implications: An EqIA has been completed and there are no impacts and therefore no required mitigating actions at this stage. DPIA is not required.